BobScott
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Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:14 pm

First post for me.

My wife and made an offer on a 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. the tech package subject to a PPI. It has 46,000 miles on it. The sellers are the 3d owners.

When I picked up the car to take to the PPI, there was an error code that said that the ICE engine could not be tested because there was not enough gas in the engine or because of the battery level. I'm paraphrasing and should have taken a picture of it.

Anyway, I told the shop doing the PPI about the error code.

The PPI report listed a number of error codes, including one that the "range extender service warning is on." The report said that there was a "programming failure" and a full reprogramming ($279.98) was recommended.

Another concern was that the diagnostics said that the brakes had 230% wear left. The shop said that was due to the programming failure or failed brake wear sensors.

The shop said that the reprogramming should fix all of the error codes. However, the REX could not be tested due to the programming failure.

This is obviously a concern for us. I couldn't tell if the REX came on or not when I drove it to the shop and back. I would hate to buy the car (even at a reduced price), reprogram it only to need repairs to the REX. Is this a dealbreaker?

For completeness, the PPI had the following other recommendations: 4 new tires, alignment, oil & filter service, engine air filter, and front wipers. The estimated repairs totaled $1,285.76. This total did not include any repairs to the REX or the brake wear sensors because it's unknown at this time if they will need work.

The shop said that we shouldn't run from the car based on the PPI, but that there were definitely some concerns.

The sellers lowered their price to $14,400, as is, based on the PPI.

Should we run? Thanks in advance.

Bob

alohart
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:34 pm

The REx engine air filter cannot be replaced without replacing the entire engine air inlet because the filter is sealed inside and not designed to be replaced, so hopefully your repair estimate doesn't include this replacement.

As the owner of a 2014 BEV whose battery pack has lost ~23% of its usable capacity after only 12k miles, I would avoid any i3 with a 60 Ah battery pack. The 94 Ah battery pack in 2017 and 2018 i3's and 120 Ah battery pack in 2019 and later i3's seem to degrade at a much lower rate. At the very least, you should check the Batt. Kapa. max value which provides an estimate of the usable capacity. The new nominal usable capacity is 18.8 kWh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELT5b2YWL58
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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MKH
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Fri Jul 30, 2021 4:11 am

You need to take the car to a shop that is familiar with the i3. They are giving you info that is nonsense. The Rex warning you are getting is NORMAL. The Rex engine runs an automatic maintenance cycle for 10 minutes every five-six weeks or so. To do that cycle, the battery has to be less than 75% charged, and there has to be enough gas in the tank - I think either 1/4 or 1/2, don't remember off the top of my head. If either of these two criteria aren't present, you get that message you saw. Once you meet both criteria, you will then get a message that the maintenance cycle is about to start, then it will. Since they are quoting you for repairs not even remotely needed, and mis-reading error codes, I would not trust anything they are telling you.

Example, the air filter is permanent - good for half-a-million miles on the car, in a sealed, welded metal shroud - they would have to use a cutting torch to get at it to change it.

Example:
The PPI report listed a number of error codes, including one that the "range extender service warning is on." The report said that there was a "programming failure" and a full reprogramming ($279.98) was recommended.
This is total made up BS. All cars, including the i3 will store lots of 'error codes', most of which are 'info only', usually telling the tech that a transitory event occured. May be a normal event, may be abnormal warning of a condition out of spec. A BMW dealer will have diagnostic software that will tell the tech if the error code is something that needs to be investigated, or is just a normal operations message. That 'error' message of "range extender service warning is on" is just telling the tech that the car tried to start the normal REX maintenance cycle, and could not either because there wasn't enough gas in the tank, or the battery charge was too high (the REX charges the battery, so there has to be enough room for the charge the REX will generate), and the car displayed a warning message to that effect.

Example:
a full reprogramming ($279.98) was recommended.
Since ONLY BMW can update the i3's programming - you have to be connected to the BMW server in Germany, and the software is code specific to you car's VIN number, how in the heck are they going to do this, if they aren't a BMW Dealer??? And I'm assuming they are not, since they are totally clueless about the i3.

Shops that make up $h!t when they don't know what they are doing (and want to bill you for their incompetence - or simply because they are scam artists) are to be avoided at all cost! Don't walk, RUN from this shop!!! :shock:
The shop said that we shouldn't run from the car based on the PPI, but that there were definitely some concerns.
Translation: "Buy the car, and let us soak you $1,000 plus in bogus repairs".

My advice: Take it to a BMW Dealer for the PPI - $14,400 on that car is a steal - average retail is $19K.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

BobScott
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:51 am

I appreciate the responses.

I've test driven a couple of i3s and have a general familiarity with the car, but that's it. So, I appreciate your opinions.

The range is a concern, but with the REX it wasn't a huge concern.

The shop's been around for over 20 years in Albuquerque and services hybrids and EVs. They have a good reputation, but you could be right that they are fishing for business.

I'll contact the seller to see if he'll let us have the car for an afternoon to see if I can get the REX to do the check and/or to get it to run.

Thanks again.

Bob

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MKH
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:29 pm

Sandia BMW has a great rep - and will have an i3 certified mechanic if you want a 2nd opinion - and when they plug the car into BMW's service system, it will give readouts on exactly what is going on with the car. As well, they can show you all the car's BMW service records.

And as far as range - depends on what you need on a daily basis - and don't forget BMW warranties the HV battery to be at least at 70% capacity for ten years. My 2015 with 28K miles still shows 71 miles under optimum conditions - which is what it was rated at new. When the temp here in Texas goes above 90 F, and the AC is running a lot, I lose about 7 - 10 miles. During our super cold spell this winter when the temp was 4 F, down about 10 - 15 miles. But I rarely drive more than thirty miles a day, and have the REx as backup. Just remember it is a 'City' car - though if you get on the i3 FaceBook group, you can find people who have gone on 3,000 mile vaca's in their i3 Rex. Locally, there was a guy who drove from Austin TX to Toronto, Canada non-stop with his.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

BobScott
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:05 pm

MKH: Thanks. I've got an appointment w. Sandia BMW tomorrow morning.

Bob

rtanov
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:50 am

Something else to consider when buying an i3 is that all pre-2017 and part of 2017 MY models have only 3G cell connectivity. This means that after AT&T shuts 3G down next year the cars are going to lose remote control and monitoring, and BMW has so far stated that they are not going to do anything about it. This might not be a big deal for some, but people need to be aware of it when buying. For me it was a big deal that I sold my i3 which I bought new in 2014 and was never planning to sell.
2014 BMW i3 REx
2014 BMW i3 BEV - retired

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MKH
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:28 am

Something else to consider when buying an i3 is that all pre-2017 and part of 2017 MY models have only 3G cell connectivity
Yeah, good thing to note, though BMW's connected service is pretty basic. Lets you remote change and start preconditioning (cool or warn the car before your departure), though you can set that up on a time/day schedule from the dash infotainment system as well. Lock/unlock the car, honk the horn, etc (act like a remote key fob). Provides an 'OnStar" like emergency service, and and live traffic updates - all on a paid subscription basis. Some pre mid-2017 owners have opted to install an add-on Apple Carplay system to use Apple or Google Maps or Waze for live traffic info during Navigation - and any of those three have a better map/nav system than BMW. As well, one owner of a 2014 had their dealer upgrade the Telecom modem in their car to 4G - a little pricey, but fixes the issue.

Me, am waiting until Feb 2022 when BMW actually tells us what they will and won't do. For the 2G to 3G switch, BMW initially said they were not going to provide an upgrade path, and then did in the end.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

BobScott
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:05 pm

Had Sandia BMW do a PPI and they gave the car a thumbs up. So, we'll be buying it.

I appreciate the responses to my questions. They were very helpful.

Bob

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MKH
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Re: Considering 2016 i3 REX GIGA w. tech package

Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:48 am

:D Congrats! Welcome to the i3 family!
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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